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Around the Big Ten, 11_19_12, plus non-conference foes

Here's a quick review of the weekend's football games, with perspectives from the SBNation bloggers. Indiana's non-conference opponents' results are included as well.


All twelve Big Ten football programs played each other this weekend (I think that was the first time that's happened this year?), so there was a lot of action to see last weekend. Here's what happened, and what other SBNation folks had to say about it.

Nebraska 38, Minnesota 14

Corn Nation celebrates the vicious beating and castor-oil-dosing of the Gophers. Is it a coincidence that Bo Pelini rhymes so well with Mussolini? I think not:

It was a dominating performance by the Blackshirts. Minnesota only gained 177 yards on the afternoon, and didn't score until after Pelini emptied the bench. The Gophers went 1 for 13 on third down and were beaten soundly on both sides of the ball. No second half comeback was needed this week; Nebraska scored on their opening possession and never trailed. Nebraska led 10-0 before Minnesota even achieved a first down.

The Daily Gopher wants to put this one in the past as soon as possible.

The Gopher defense came out and was hitting hard today but they were too often a step slow and lost receivers leaving them wide open for long third down conversions. Nebraska's only second half offensive touchdown came after three consecutive plays of 20+ yards, the last one being Kenny Bell's 30 yard scamper.

Nelson played his worst game as a Gopher. I don't want to rip him here, he is after-all a true freshman playing on the road against arguably the best defense in the conference.

Michigan 42, Iowa 17

Maize and Brew is worried about injuries, but giddy over Devin Gardner:

[Gardner] had six touchdowns, tying Denard Robinson's career high in only his third start as a Wolverine. Gardner ran the ball well, remained accurate on comeback and out routes, and delivered a few more beautiful balls down the field as well. He also took care of the ball for the majority of the game, only throwing a junk pick late in the game when the contest was already in Michigan's hands.

Black Heart Gold Pants bemoans a hapless defense:

Only a Micah Hyde interception stopped Michigan from scoring early in the fourth quarter and after that Michigan seemed to put their offense on ice. But before that? No stops. The Iowa defense could not get Michigan's offense off the field. At all. Ever. Michigan went 9/12 (!) on third downs and 2/2 on fourth downs. They punted once the entire game (late in the fourth quarter, after the result was assured). They scored six touchdowns on their first six possessions. I thought the Penn State game was the nadir of Iowa's defense; I was wrong.

Northwestern 23, Michigan State 20 (OT)

Sippin on Purple breathes a sigh of relief for winning when the wheels were coming off their offense:

The offense had some issues, giving up a safety and converting only 3 of 14 third downs. The main bright spot was Dan Vitale's breakout game, as the true freshman caught 9 passes for 110 yards, including a 41 yard reception on the go-ahead drive. With the offense stalling out in Michigan State territory,Jeff Budzien got a chance to work, going 3-3 on field goals and 2-2 on extra points.

The Only Colors' KJ curses a statistically favorable box score upended by turnovers:

When Northwestern had the ball, their vaunted rushing offense was almost entirely contained and their passing attack was limited. The MSU defense held the Wildcats to just 3 third down conversions in 14 attempts. MSU defenders posted 8 pass break-ups and 4 QB hurries, as part of a very-solid-against-a-spread 23.9% disruption percentage (24.4% on the other side of the ball, for the record).

All that was more than offset by MSU's 4 turnovers--5 turnovers, really, when you consider the failed 4th and goal from the 1. In light of that differential in scoring opportunities--and the 7 points Northwestern scored off the pick 6--it's actually kind of amazing the game was even as close as it was.

Penn State 45, Indiana 22

Black Show Diaries muses on the loss of Michael Mauti, and PSU's good fortune that IU couldn't capitalize on its opportunities:

Defensively, Penn State was prone to the big play, and, had Cameron Coffman been able to hit all his open receivers, this game could have gone much differently. Penn State, so thin in the secondary already, and playing without Malcolm Willis, stayed mainly in it's base 4-3 even against Indiana's 4-receiver sets, and had its pass rush effectively neutralized by Indiana's quick-strike attack. It took Ted Roof a little too long to realize that blitzing wouldn't help alleviate that, but Indiana could rarely make Penn State pay.

Purdue 20, Illinois 17

Hammer and Rails welcomes the chance to save the season and play in a bowl:

With 8:26 left Purdue gave up a 13 play, 95 yard drive to an offense that ranked 119th nationally in scoring. Fortunately, Antavian Edison recovered the onside kick, Purdue surprised many by NOT going into the fetal position offense, and clinched the game with a pair of first downs.

So the Cannon stays in West Lafayette and Purdue needs only to pair it with a Bucket to salvage an improbable bowl berth from the once totally lost 2012 season. We only need secure Purdue's first in-season three-game win streak under Danny Hope to reach a bowl game in Dallas or Houston. Does it save Hope's job? I don't know.

The Champaign Room despairs of the futility of the Illini in winnable games:

In their last three home games the Illini have played three teams that have gone 31-86 in Big Ten games since the 2008 season. Those three teams went 3-0 in Champaign this season, outscoring the Illini 68-37 in the process. Three teams that have allowed an average of 30.13 points per game against other opponents this season allowed 37 points total -- or 12.33 per game -- against the Illini.

In Champaign.

Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14 (OT)

Land Grant Holy Land is happy that the Buckeyes did just enough to win:

It was ugly. It was dirty. It was brutal. The Buckeyes and Badgers combined for 17 punts in a classic Big Ten slug fest. Montee Ball ran for 191 yards on 39 carries and a score, and Curt Phillips confounded the Buckeyes on a late drive to tie the game, sending Ohio State to overtime for the second time this year. But, after hibernating for three quarters, the Buckeye offense woke up at the exact right time, as Carlos Hyde ran for his second score of the game. The Buckeye defense needed a stop, and John Simon (4 sacks, and a huge factor all day) and the Silver Bullets would be equal to the task, stopping the Badgers on fourth down, sealing the victory.

Bucky's Fifth Quarter laments another one that got away:

After recovering the fumble at their own 6-yard line, the Buckeyes managed to gain just four yards before punting the ball over to the Badgers with 1:33 left on the clock. Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips then led UW on a nine-play, 41-yard drive that was capped with a five-yard pass to tight end Jacob Pedersen with eight seconds remaining. Phillips, in his second career start, finished 14-of-25 with 154 yards and one touchdown.

But the Buckeyes needed only four plays -- all rushes -- to score in overtime

Non-Conference Foes

Indiana State 6, Youngstown State 27: The Sycamores (7-4) got walloped at YSU, when the Penguins broke a tight game open with a touchdown in the third quarter, and then sealed it away with a 14-0 fourth quarter. ISU's rushing game just couldn't ever get started, as Shakir Bell carried the Ball 18 times for a mere 54 yards, and YSU converted key plays when needed.

Ball State 52, Ohio 27: Ball State (8-3) laid the smack down last Wednesday, as the Cardinals' rushing game stepped up to match the passing attack, and the Bobcats had no answers. The second half started with a TD by Ohio at the 12:45 mark to take the lead, but just 40 seconds later BSU responded with a TD of their own and never looked back, outscoring their opponents 31-3 for the rest of the game.

Massachusetts 19, Buffalo 29: After snapping the losing streak, the Minutemen (1-10) put up a good fight for a while, leading 13-0 at the half, but ultimately slid back to their losing ways. Buffalo notched all 29 of their points in the second half, and the first of two fourth-quarter field goals

Navy 21, Texas State 10: The Midshipmen (7-4) picked up another win, hanging another huge rushing game on yet another hapless foe. Fullback Noah Copeland was the leading rusher this time, with 110 yards and 2 TDs. Also, the Navy defense gave up 400+ yards, but didn't allow a touchdown until the fourth quarter.